Nearly 50 become naturalized U.S. citizens in Macon

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – About 50 people are now officially United States citizens. The candidates, who are from all over the world, took their oaths on Wednesday.

Inside a place where fates are sealed and other judged, a courtroom inside the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia in Macon is where the people took their oaths.

“This is one day of the year that I absolutely look forward to,” Teri Hatcher, one of the ceremony’s organizers, said. “It’s exciting. It’s fascinating to see where all these people come from to get here.”

From India, South Korea, Canada, and Mexico — the candidates have completed the necessary requirements to become official residents.

That includes Fiona Weir-Banton who was born in Jamaica but has lived in the states for more than a decade.

“I feel like, you know, I’ve lived here for 14 years and it would be wonderful for me to become a U.S. citizen,” Banton said.

Banton teaches social studies and says to be an actual teaching lesson herself is a great learning opportunity for her students.

“I teach my students about the U.S. Constitution and all the stuff that has to deal with U.S. history, so it will be wonderful because I will have a first hand experience to tell my students about the path of becoming a U.S. citizen,” she said.

The path isn’t always smooth, but organizers say the end is worth the time and energy.

“They can register to vote, serve on a jury, so it would be interesting to see whether these people come back and serve on jury duty here. I’d love to see them again,” Hatcher said.

It’s an obligation to the country and Fiona says it’s a day of joy.

“We’ll be celebrating definitely today,” she said.

The naturalization ceremony happens once a year in Macon. More than 25,000 new citizens were naturalized last year in the state.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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